I hope all leaders are looking after themselves – as well as their organisations and the people they lead. Don’t be too hard on yourselves or take on everything.
There are some good things to think about in this piece and what, for obvious reasons, stands out for me is this…
‘Every day in this crisis can seem like an eternity, yet the decisions you take now will shape your legacy as a company leader. What should that longer-term view be? The vision you sketch out could focus on specific and tangible goals: classic metrics such as profitability, growth, market share, and so on.
But you will also need to have in mind an end game of sorts, a broader vision that incorporates goals such as the ultimate purpose of the company, the values it stands for, and the sorts of people it will and won’t attract as employees and as customers.’
If anyone is wrestling with these imperatives right now, try not to do it alone and if possible, gain some objectivity from someone who is here to listen and co-create – me!!!
The toughest leadership test
By Homayoun Hatami, Pal Erik Sjatil, and Kevin Sneader
CEO microhabits can help leaders seize the moment, stay ahead, and take care of themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic has been an epic test of character and determination for millions of people around the world. Nothing compares with the sacrifice of workers on the front lines in hospitals and other essential services. In the business context, CEOs have had to cope with extraordinary demands: for them, the pandemic has been an ultimate leadership test.
Over the past few months, we have spoken with business leaders around the globe about how they are coping both personally and professionally. Many told us about the microhabits—daily routines and ways of working—that they have adopted to help them and their companies weather this crisis and emerge stronger from it.
The pressures can seem daunting. Coping with the sudden shutdown of the global economy was hard enough; figuring out how to restart in such an uncertain environment is, if anything, even harder, many told us. CEOs are expected to show “deliberate calm” and “bounded optimism.” Everyone wants them to demonstrate empathy—and, at the same time, be highly engaged and fact based in their actions. They are expected to make a positive difference in people’s lives with their leadership and wield both telescope and microscope adroitly—that is, have both a coherent long-term view and a set of effective short-term fixes at hand. Yet, for all their expertise, they are grappling with many new questions for which they don’t have answers, even as their teams look to them for direction. The COVID-19 crisis is a once-in-a-century event, and no training or experience in previous downturns has prepared CEOs for it.
Some are energized by the challenges and feel closer than ever to their teams. “There is far more personal contact,” said the CEO of a leading financial-services company. Others are taking a step back to reimagine their company and industry. Even so, exhaustion can quickly set in. CEOs have been “on” pretty much 24/7. Downtime is a precious rarity: “You no longer even have that 15-minute nap when the airplane takes off.” And that’s just work.